Ninth Inning Dooms Miami Baseball in Sunday Loss to Georgia Tech
March 27, 2011
Box Score | Season Stats | Postgame Notes | UM vs. GT Series Stats
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Matt Skole’s RBI double to right center in the ninth inning was just enough to allow 12th-ranked Georgia Tech a series sweep of the 29th-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes with a 3-1 victory in ACC baseball on Sunday afternoon inside Alex Rodriguez Park.
After Miami (14-11, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) starting pitcher Eric Whaley kept the score tied at one heading into the eighth, the Hurricanes went to the bullpen as Whaley had thrown 113 pitches to that point.
The Yellow Jackets (21-4, 9-0 ACC) were held in check by reliever Adam Sargent in the eighth, but took advantage of the Hurricanes’ inability to secure timely hits throughout the game as the two teams went into the ninth deadlocked, 1-1.
Georgia Tech’s Jacob Esch started the frame with a double down the left field line – brining UMiami veteran head coach Jim Morris to the mound for a pitching change, electing to go with junior left-hander Sam Robinson. The Rambling Wreck’s Matt Skole drove the second pitch he saw from Robinson out to the left centerfield wall, switching places with Esch for what would eventually be the game-winning hit and score.
Later in the inning, Georgia Tech put on a squeeze bunt – as Zane Evans laid down a sacrifice bunt that plated Skole, who was streaking from third base on the pitch from Robinson. The move worked, and put up the final score of 3-1 on the board.
The Yellow Jackets used just two pitchers in the game, making the move to the bullpen for closer Luke Bard in the ninth to try and collect the save. After Nathan Melendres went down swinging, the ‘Canes had yet another chance to tie the game when shortstop Harold Martinez was hit by a pitch to put a man aboard with one out.
Michael Broad stepped into the box for the Hurricanes – facing a 2-0 count, but it was Bard who got Broad to hit into Miami’s third double play of the series – going 5-4-3 to end the game. The save was Bard’s third of the season in just an inning of work and eight total pitches – also moving the Yellow Jackets’ winning streak to 16 consecutive games.
The win went to Georgia Tech starter Buck Farmer, picking up his fourth win of the season – striking out a season-high nine batters while allowing just a single run (unearned) on three hits scattered in eight complete frames on the rubber.
The loss for the Hurricanes went to Sargent, dropping his record to 1-2 on the year. For UM, it was the second consecutive loss for the bullpen after rolling off 23 consecutive scoreless innings as a unit prior to Saturday’s setback.
Failing to factor into the decision was UM sophomore Eric Whaley who fanned a career-high 10 batters, allowing just the one run on two hits and walking just a single batter. He now owns 19 strikeouts in his last two weekend starts, including a team-leading four wins.
The series sweep by the Yellow Jackets – winners of four consecutive against the Hurricanes – is the first of its kind in Coral Gables, and the first sweep of Miami since 1967. It was also the first time Miami has been swept at home by an opponent since Clemson in 2006.
Miami took its first lead of the weekend in the home-half of the third inning, as sophomore Zeke DeVoss’ RBI fielder’s choice pushed across freshman Brad Fieger, who began the Hurricanes’ at-bat with a double down the right field line. Georgia Tech would eventually tie things up in the fifth when Sam Dove’s single to right plated designated hitter Daniel Palka who was hit by a pitch to begin the frame.
Georgia Tech was led on the day offensively by five players with a single hit apiece, but highlighted by the game-winning RBI double from Skole. He finished the day 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Miami used the bat of Fieger with a 1-for-3 showing at the plate, also scoring the team’s lone run of the afternoon. Chantz Mack and Shane Rowland also secured hits for Miami. Mack has now hit safely in his last three contests.
Miami will step back on the diamond Tuesday at 6 p.m., hosting Florida Gulf Coast for the second time in as many weeks. The two teams met last Wednesday, with the ‘Canes earning a 5-2 win in Coral Gables.
Starting pitchers for that game have yet to be announced by either team.
For ticket information for the 2011 baseball season, call 1-800-GO-CANES or visit Hurricanesports.com.
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University of Miami Postgame Notes:
With the loss, the Hurricanes are now…
A Career Day
Let’s Go Streaking
All Good things come to an end